District Conference – Hope and Homes For Children

With over 30 years service as a soldier with the Ghurkhas Colonel Mark Cook has witnessed at first hand the effect of conflict on families and children. The conditions which he and his wife witnessed at orphanages in Sarajevo following the Balkan War of the 1990’s were so appalling that they decided that they must do something to help and so was born Hope and Homes for Children.

Initially the Charity worked to rebuild and refurbish orphanages but their work has now progressed to moving children out of institutional care and into caring family environments and to work to prevent family breakdown which leads to children being placed there in the first place.

This change in direction came as a result of their listening to children and understanding that what they really want and need is the love of a family – something which Mark is convinced cannot be provided in an institution.

Mark says ‘More children are been orphaned or abandoned today than ever before in history and many of them will have to resort to begging, crime, prostitution or violence just to survive.The world has to realise that this is a crisis on an unprecedented scale as these children will grow up disenfranchised angry people’.

The Rotary movement has been a long term supported of the Charity’s work and following Mark’s moving presentation Val Campbell, Chairman of Inner Wheel District 21, presented him with a cheque for £750 which the ladies of Inner Wheel had collected at the own District Conference with a further £250 being donated by District Governor Elect Trevor Davis.

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